Brand Masters is a new series that explores what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in the contemporary landscape of culture. Whether you’re building a name for yourself or your label/store, these individuals have gone through the process and drop dimes.
This week we hit up the West Coast to visit with Diego Elizarraras, owner of House of Fade Barbershop, STRAND and STRUCTURE. The multi-talented barber, business owner, creative, entrepreneur and all-around go-getter from LA has been cutting hair for close to two decades now. He initially took up the craft because he wanted to cut his own hair and look fresh. As someone who truly understands the adage “time is money,” he insures that his businesses run smoothly with the latest technology and that each curated experience is worth the time and money. With a barbershop, product line and creative space under his belt, listen to how Diego built his empire by never wasting a second.
Start at the jump
Diego has had an interesting journey to get where he is today. At a young age, he couldn’t find a barber that would give him the fresh cuts he wanted, so he took things into his own hands. With clippers sourced from his dad and cousin, he started cutting hair. Eventually, it turned into a hobby for the neighborhood homies and then a booming business.
Because Diego went through those terrible experiences with shitty haircuts, he wants to present clients with the ultimate experience and that’s where his newest venture and creative space, STRUCTURE, comes into play. It’s all about the vibes.
Curating all the right vibes is part of Diego’s effortless branding, because he’s just being himself. Like many of our Brand Masters, speaking a language of authenticity and treating yourself like a customer, is a formula for success. Diego never stops looking for inspiration for his brands, but he also doesn’t stray away from his own vision. Fashion and travel feature heavily into his final products.
“I go through my everyday struggles. I have my challenges. But it’s all in the mindset. How you approach things and what perspective you see it from. Take a step back and try to figure out a game plan on how to get things done.”
Part of owning a business is also knowing when to accept change and learning to adapt. Diego is happy to thank technology in saving his business because of his busy schedule. He’s an advocate for software like Squire and completely open to the idea of business owners moving with the times and tech.
While technology may help in scheduling, Diego has learned time management skills over the years, which he accredits to his success. Creating balance and prioritizing the most important tasks are essential to optimizing the 24 hours we all have in a single day. Never stop hustling and allow that stress and pressure to create a diamond.
Part of effective time management includes self-care and wellness planning. Diego was so focused on traveling and the daily grind before the pandemic that he didn’t have a lot of time for family and his own physical and mental health. He used the down time to seriously realign his focus and come back better than ever by prioritizing these things.
Diego has also prioritized being an educator and teaching financial literacy to the younger crowd. He tells us about how he got started in teaching and a story from his childhood on public speaking. He also says that in a different lifetime he’d probably be a content creator because he does all that stuff as a side hustle regardless. Never stop learning and always be curious for more knowledge.
“I’m just trying to share everything I know and everything I have so that I can see everybody else do well. Because in this industry, there’s enough for everybody to get it.”
Diego’s final piece of advice for all aspiring barbers and entrepreneurs alike is to enjoy your journey and to learn from your mistakes. Always be ready to step into the moment and be patient because nothing is built overnight. We’re hoping you remember all of this from previous Brand Master episodes.
To thrive, you have to manage your time. Spend it wisely and you will reap the benefits. To keep up with the busy schedule of Diego’s, check out his socials below.
This series was made possible by Squire, the premier barbershop POS software. To learn more, hit up getsquire.com.
Written by Matt Peng
Interview conducted by Curvel Baptiste
Transcription by Olivia Hawkins
Produced by Madeline Carpentiere
Photos via Diego Elizarraras